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UNICEF child poverty report welcomed

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development

15 November 2002 Media statement

UNICEF child poverty report welcomed

A UNICEF report showing children were the main victims of New Zealand's successive New Right governments is right, Progressive leader Jim Anderton said today.

He says it’s the responsibility of government to acknowledge the hardship that past government policies have caused.

"If there is one sign that things have changed for the better, it is that Ministers in this government are prepared to acknowledge the ruin that has been caused in the past.

"There is no question that the Labour-Progressive Government is moving to improve the social and economic well-being of children and their families. That progress will never be fast enough for me, but it is very positive progress and the UNICEF report underlines how urgently it is needed.

"The worst feature of the New Right policies of the past was that governments ignored the real impact on ordinary families, on children and on other vulnerable groups of New Zealanders. Ideology was imposed regardless of the social and human cost.

"Even worse, having inflicted that hardship on children, the policies didn't work anyway.

"After nearly twenty years of policies that were supposed to bring nirvana, the Labour-Progressive Government is having to repair immense damage and implement economic development policies that will restore living standards and economic prosperity to New Zealand," said Jim Anderton.


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